Morning notes: Leake ready

*Before heading over to Scottsdale, here are a couple of items from the complex in Goodyear…

*Mike Leake (abdomen strain) appears ready to start on Friday in a split-squad game vs. the White Sox. Bryan Price is just going to be extra sure before committing.

“It looks good. We’re optimistic that he’ll be able to pitch,” Price said. “We’re going to get through today, go out and play catch and make sure everything is good. We don’t want to put anyone in a high risk situation. He has got to feel 100 percent.”

*Neftali Soto has been not just getting hits, but tattooing the ball to the opposite way. Soto hit a home run to right field in Wednesday’s night game vs. the Dodgers. He’s batting .571 (8-for-14) through his first six games. Obviously, the first baseman is blocked by Joey Votto but Soto is trying to increase his chances of making the team as a third catcher.

“He’s a guy doing early and late work on his catching and trying to be a viable option maybe as a third catcher and even better than that,” Price said. “His work day is as long as anyone here right now.”

*Jason Bourgeois (right hamstring strain) is playing his first game today vs. the Giants. He is the DH and the hopes is he will soon play in the outfield again, and at second base.

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